Freedom of Thought

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Everyone, and in this case there is no hyperbole - sincerely everyone, has the capacity for freedom of thought. The human mind is an astounding thing; it is, truly, the only place there is a legitimate knowledge of privacy. No one can get inside another person's head (at least with our current level of technology) to see what they are thinking. It is this freedom which means so much to us as a species. Without this freedom there would be no individuality.

Certainly through the evolution of humanity a necessity for a certain level of socialization or interaction has developed. In fact, if it had not been for this interaction and development of structured societies it is likely that the world we know and live in now would not exist. It would likely be an impossible notion even. Humanity is inextricably mated to the concepts and notions that spawn from and revolve around socialization. Even this development of individuality is caused by our socialization. Without this individuality there would be no need, nor desire, to have any social interactions. If everyone had the same thoughts, feelings, wants, and beliefs most, if not all, interactions would be bland and would not have any benefit. It is the clash of individuals that makes social interaction enjoyable.In this sense the societies within cyberspace are no different.

Cyberspace is, in itself, a sociological phenomenon. It is a society, complete with counter-cultures, subcultures, mores, laws, and ethics all its own. Yet even still this society is inextricably linked to a hard-coded desire for socialization that comes from simply being human. Look at the most popluar locales in cyberspace. There are content aggregators (Reddit, Voat, even Digg still exists), there are social networks (Facebook, Ello, Myspace), there are news websites (complete with commentary sections), and there are blogs where people, in their sociable ways, want to share every facet of their lives with everyone else. Even this writing itself is a cry of socialization; it does not exist to not be read. Cyberspace is built entirely on humanity's, occassionally subconscious, need to be social. (Even people claiming to have no social desires or needs can be found socializing in cyberspace: see subreddits /r/hermitlife and /r/misanthropy for two small off-the-cuff examples).

The socialization of cyberspace is an important thing to consider when discussing how people are free of thought. Even in such place where all of one's prior actions are able to be cultivated, viewed, and analyzed one's thoughts can not be predicted or stolen from them. Cyberspace would be the quintessential example of the failure of the freedom of thought if it were possible to breach. Thought is, in reality, the only true freedom. People can be restrained; people can be coerced, and people can be broken. Thoughts, however, are never able to be restrained, coerced, or broken. Our thoughts are our own, and whatever outward expression we may have can conceal those thoughts from everyone else. To quote Alan Moore, and his character Evey, from his work V for Vendetta "an idea can still change the world. I've witnessed first hand the power of ideas, I've seen people kill in the name of them, and die defending them... but you cannot kiss an idea, cannot touch it, or hold it... ideas do not bleed, they do not feel pain, they do not love..." Our thoughts, which inform our ideas, are equally imutable. That is the benefit of incorporeal thought and abstraction. No one can take an abstraction from anyone.

Always, if nothing else, remember that thoughts are free. Even in times of stress, turmoil, pain, and suffering hold on to the thoughts that make you, you. Those thoughts will keep you free and true, they can not be taken from you.

Die Gedanken sind frei, wer kann sie erraten?